MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $300,000 in grants to provide fresh, healthy food for low-income and senior citizens across the state.

The seven grants will be used for projects ranging from an open-air market in Mobile to a new grocery store in Cherokee. The governor presented the grants Wednesday in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

The goal of the program is to reduce the number of “food deserts.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a food desert as a place where at least 33 percent of the population lives far from a store selling fresh, affordable produce — a mile or more away in urban areas or 10 miles in rural areas.

The grants are administered by the state’s department of economic and community affairs.

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